I think we all agree to say that excessive use of smartphones can be detrimental to both our physical and mental wellbeing. The reality is, we use our phones daily for various reasons: keeping in touch with family and friends, reading the news, writing emails, watching youtube videos... So why not use this time spent on our phones more wisely, and improve our physical and mental health at the same time?
To help you become the best version of yourself this year, I'm sharing my top 6 apps that I currently use or have used in the past, based on my 6 pillars approach. All these apps are free but can be upgraded for more functionalities.
NUTRITION: It's not always easy to come up with healthy recipes and get inspired to cook healthy meals. Organisation is key when it comes to eating healthy, and meal planning is a great way to add variety to your diet, eat less processed foods and achieve your nutrition goals! I've recently discovered the amazing app Mealime, a meal planning app with loads of recipes catering for many different diets (low carb, vegetarian, vegan, paleo...), you can also select your allergies and dislikes to filter the recipes. You can create your week's meal plan and the app automatically creates a grocery shopping list with all the ingredients you need! And that's not all... the recipes all take 30 min or less to prepare, and the app is really easy to use, so no excuse to eat a healthy homemade meal :).
ENVIRONMENT: The app 'Think Dirty' is an essential one if you want to avoid toxins in your cosmetics and personal care products. The app allows you to scan the barcode of a product or search for it by name and assess the safety of their ingredients. It is an American based app but there's over 1 million products in there, I've tried it myself with several beauty products I use and they were easily found on the app. Each result will give you an overall score on the ingredients used in that product, and the app can even suggest alternative products if the ones you are using are not entirely safe.
MOVEMENT: my favourite app when it comes to physical exercise is 'Seven'. It's free, easy to use and it just takes 7 minutes of your day. It's not much, but it can make a big difference in how energised you feel for the rest of the day. You can also increase the length of the workout and do 14 or 21 minutes instead. Consistency is key here. Just like a video game, Seven starts you off with three lives. Skip a day and lose a heart, but miss 3 workouts in a month and your progress resets to zero and it's game over! Your calendar will store all your workouts color-coded so you can see how you have done in the past and when your hearts will refill.
POSITIVE MINDSET: the app Think Up helps you incorporate positive affirmations in your daily life. You can search for affirmations on different topics or create your own. You can also set reminders so you don't forget to practice on them! Don't underestimate the power of positive affirmations, they can really change your outlook on life if remembered and said repeatedly :).
STRESS MANAGEMENT: Calm is a very comprehensive app with guided meditation sessions on various themes (happiness, gratitude, stress...), relaxing soundtracks and my favourite feature: a simple but effective breathing exercise! It's a great app to use daily or keep at hand as we never know when we might need it.
SLEEP: The Sleep Cycle alarm clock monitors your sleep patterns and gently wakes you up during your lightest sleep cycle, helping you to feel refreshed first thing in the morning. You can also track your sleep each night to find the right amount for you! Combined with a blue-light filter app such as Twilight (or the Night Shift setting on Iphones) and Calm app and their relaxing sleep stories and soundtracks, you're on the right track to finally get a good night's sleep.
This new year brings 365 new opportunities to achieve optimal health. Remember that no one but YOU is in charge of your health.
May this year be the healthiest one yet.